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Study in the UK without IELTS

Posted 01 August 2013
IELTS students

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There are many different courses and pathways you can follow if you want to study in the United Kingdom. IELTS (or International English Language Testing System) is probably the most common test that international students take in order to prove their language level in order to get accepted onto courses in the UK. However, it is by no means the only test that you can take to successfully study in the UK.

There are many different courses and pathways you can follow if you want to study in the United Kingdom. IELTS (or International English Language Testing System) is probably the most common test that international students take in order to prove their language level in order to get accepted onto courses in the UK. However, it is by no means the only test that you can take to successfully study abroad.


Personally, when I first came to the United Kingdom to study A Levels, I did not actually have an IELTS certificate. I had studied English for about four or five years at my high school, but I never took any formal or official examination in English, so I really did not know what my level of English was, or if it was sufficient to study A Levels. Bellerbys College, however, has a system in place, in which they send you an English language test (Pre Arrival English) which you can complete (under exam conditions, of course!) at home, based on which they are able to tell you whether or not your English level is sufficient for your chosen course. If it is sufficient, you can proceed onto your course, and take the IELTS exam during your time in the UK. If it is not good enough, you can always come to the UK to follow an English Language Preparation programme before starting your academic programme.


I want to study at a British University - what are my options?


Your options depend on your current English level. UK universities will want to see some proof of your language ability. They are most familiar with the IELTS. As a general rule, successful completion of high school level of English will not be considered as a sufficient proof of English language competency, because the standards for high school leaving exams vary greatly between different countries. The only time the requirement to provide an IELTS score will be waived is if most of your schooling has been completed in English, or in a country where the majority language spoken is English.


If the above does not apply to you, you will have to take an English language test before you go to a British university. But do not worry, you do not have to do this until after you have your university offer. In general, the offer will be conditional upon you achieving a certain grade in one of the standardised English Language tests.

If, for example, your English level is not very high, there are many courses in the UK designed to help you improve your English language, and there are, in general, no requirements to have undertaken standardised testing before attending them.

You can also come to Bellerbys College to study most courses without having taken IELTS, provided that you pass the test that I mentioned earlier. Once at Bellerbys, the friendly teachers will guide you through your options as to whether or not you need to take IELTS, based on your past education and experiences. In general:

 

  •  Student from EU are exempt from SELT (Secure English Language Test) thus can take the Bellerbys College Pre Arrival English Test
  •  Student under 18 from inside or outside EU can take Bellerbys College Pre Arrival EnglishTest
  •  Students who are above 18 and coming from outside the EU require IELTs

To sum up, you have the option to come and study English language in the UK without actually taking IELTS or any other standardised English test. However, if your ambition is to go to a university in the UK, sooner or later you will have to take a test to prove your English language level, if you were not brought up in a country where the majority language spoken is English, or if you had not attended an English speaking high school for the majority of your education.

 

Zuzana Chlupackova

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